MSG recognizes World Down Syndrome Day

Nadine Fox and Hannah Brooks

Monday, March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day. Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body that determine how a baby’s body forms and functions as it grows during pregnancy and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. However, babies born with down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes (chromosome 21). The medical term for having an extra copy of a chromosome is called ‘trisomy.’ Down syndrome is also sometimes referred to as Trisomy 21. The first World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) was held on March 21, 2006.

The day and month of the day were chosen specifically to correspond to three copies of the 21 chromosome. In honor of this day, and spreading awareness Mercyhurst MSG students wore fun/mismatched socks for World Down Syndrome Day. The idea was created because chromosomes are shaped like socks. People all over the world wear colorful, attractive, crazy socks on this day to spread aware-ness. Carissa Budday, junior Fashion Merchandising major and MSG PR coordinator, explained that MSG participated in this event for a lighthearted way to promote awareness. “Many primary schools do this with younger children to open the conversation, and since Mercyhurst has never spoken on it we thought that this would be a great opportunity to have that conversation with students as well as faculty,” said Budday. “It is very important to learn about individuals with Down syndrome and be inclusive of each and every student.”

Budday added that MSG tries to participate in as many events as possible to ensure that Mercyhurst is inclusive, respectful and aware of all individuals. “One upcoming event that we are planning on taking part in is Denim Day, on April 27,” said Budday. “This is a worldwide day in which people wear denim to support survivors of sexual assault while also educating themselves and others.” Budday also added that this event is important to take part in, as many men and women are sexually assaulted each year at college campuses across the world. In addition to these two events, MSG strives to be inclusive to all students and is always open to student feedback about ways in which the school can be more inclusive, or other days in need of recognition.

“Although these are just two days we as an organization have chosen to participate in, we are aware that there are so many more. Please know that we are always open to ideas from the student body,” said Budday. “We want to be your voice. That is why we have decided to start taking part in more days like this.”

Check out the Cultural Awareness Calendar on the Student Hub so you do not miss out on more events like these! The Multicultural Student Services will be recognizing and try-ing to spread awareness to a variety of important topics this year. Some important events are Deaf History Month, Black History Month and advocacy for Women’s Rights. The importance of recognizing and being involved in these events is a really good way to learn and engage in activities that are new or unfamiliar to expand your knowledge and worldview, as well as to be supportive of your peers.